The Federal Government has made a pledge to build Australia’s reputation as an intelligent country with innovation taking the lead. By Shermine Gotfredsen, General Manager, Universal Robots APAC

The Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda aims to encourage businesses to embrace risk, entrepreneurship and innovation, to develop new products and services, and to back good ideas and learn from mistakes. The plan is to develop industries that will help to wean Australia off its reliance on the mining sector.

A number of global companies are working in collaboration with governments and business to create innovative solutions that meet the need to work more efficiently and competitively. One such company is Danish firm Universal Robots, which produces flexible, robotic solutions that automate and streamline repetitive industrial processes while reducing costs and boosting productivity. In an example of organisations working collaboratively with governments committed to innovation, Universal Robots has formed a partnership with the Singapore Government to develop cost-effective robotic applications and solutions for a range of industries.

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and SPRING Singapore (a government agency responsible for helping enterprises grow) offers grants to support SMEs in tech innovation and adoption. The EDB and SPRING have backed Universal Robots and with one of its local distributors to develop new robotic applications for Singaporean SMEs. A grant from SPRING will cover 70% of the distributor’s project qualifying costs in an effort to spearhead the development of the robotics industry and promote enterprise development, increased accessibility to technology, competitiveness and productivity.

Working with end users, the Universal Robots research & development team are working to create specialised solutions to help make the end-user companies into market leaders. The model provides the means to create a commercially viable solution that can be installed quickly into the end-user’s operation.

Andrew Pether, Head of Regional Tech Support for Universal Robots, APAC, showcased the company’s newly developed robotic solutions to key stakeholders at its Singapore office in January.

“With the support of SPRING and EDB, we are thrilled to be offering efficient and convenient applications that can palpably offer enhanced productivity for organisations across a range of industries within Singapore,” said Pether. “This model for innovation is one that provides tangible benefits to businesses and results in building sustainable and competitive organisations within the long term.”

With Singapore’s EDB and SPRING joint initiative facilitating national technological innovation in areas such as robotics, it provides a strong case for the Australian Government to explore the potential to institute similar grants. This is particularly pertinent in light of the Federal Government’s pledge to help companies and industries embrace technology and innovation as part of its “Ideas boom” agenda.